Sue Young Histories

The Burnett Surname and Homeopathy

March 16, 2008

Burnett surnameThe Burnett surname contributed an orthodox doctor who converted to homeopathy and one temperance activist and theosophist. New York Homœopathic
CollegeBenajah J Burnett 1843 -

of Mount Vernon, West Chester county, N. Y., was born in the city of New York, July 21st, 1843. His grandparents were early settlers in New Jersey, and were active participants in the struggle for American Independence.

His father, Benajah J. Burnett (a gentleman of rare abilities, widely known, and universally esteemed), has acquired an extensive reputation as a practical mechanic, and is the patentee of several valuable inventions.

Dr. Burnett received an excellent classical education, and, at a very early age, becoming desirous of studying medicine as a profession, he received every encouragement from his father, and from the excellent Dr. S. B. Barlow, their family physician.

Accordingly, after leaving school (at the age of seventeen) he began to read medicine, and a year later, entered the medical department of Columbia College, the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, where he remained two years ; when, feeling that he could no longer identify himself with allopathy, he entered the New York Homœopathic Medical College, where he remained two years longer, and graduated with honor in the spring of 1865.

He then at once commenced practice, devoting much time to hospital and dispensary practice in New York city. Eventually, however, he established himself at Mt. Vernon, where be has since remained, acquiring a practice which is constantly increasing, and where he is also acquiring an extensive reputation as a surgeon and obstetrician, which latter branch of practice he makes a specialty, and in which he has been remarkably successful.

He was one of the founders of the Hahnemannian Society connected with the New York Homœopathic Medical College, and was made its first president; and aided in its deliberations by contributing original essays, and by taking an active part in its discussions.

He has held the position of medical examiner for several homœopathic life insurance companies, to whom his skilful services have been invaluable. He is a member of the American Institute of Homœopathy, of the West Chester County, Homœopathic Medical Society, and of several scientific bodies.

In the year 1868, Dr. Burnett married Miss Louisa G., daughter of the late James C. Watts (a gentleman of sterling worth, and refinement, who was for many years a prominent citizen of Brooklyn), by whom he has a son and a daughter.

Dr. Burnett, conscious that no higher honors are attainable than those which are due the skilful, faithful, and benevolent physician, is content to expend all his time, talent, and energies in the fulfillment of the duties of his profession, outside of which, he declines all office, political or otherwise.

He is one of the warmest adherents of homœopathy, and is ever active in promoting its best interests. He has been a frequent contributor to the various medical journals, and has written several popular essays on the subject of homœopathy.

Though still a young man, being now but thirty years of age, he has, by his thorough professional habits, his careful attention to all professional duties, his earnest effort to possess himself of all knowledge valuable in his practice, and his constant endeavor to enhance the public appreciation of the merits of his chosen system, created for himself a high position in the estimation of a large community, and caused himself to be regarded as a most valuable member of the homœopathic fraternity.

theosophyMary Weeks Burnett was a friend of Frances Willard and protegee of Clara Barton who was a board member of the New York Medical College for Women with Clemence Lozier, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Carroll Dunham, Timothy Field Allen, William Guernsey, Edmund Carleton, Henry Ward Beecher and Julia Ward Howe.

Mary Weeks Burnett was also a founder member of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Movement, alongside Alice Bunker Stockham, Sarah Hackett Stevenson, Florence Hunt and Odelia Blinn.

Mary Weeks Burnett was a theosophist and she wrote The Principles of Occult Healing: A Working Hypothesis Which Includes All Cures, How You Can Use Principles of Occult Healing, Metaphysics and the Indestructible Self, Healing by Thought Forms and Colors, Healing by Thought-forms, Color, Magnetism and Mesmerism, Magnetism, Polarization and Metaphysical Healing, Mesmerism, The Auras and the Ethers, Occult Healing and Occultism, Why All Healing Is Occult - Pamphlet, Occult Healing Schools - Pamphlet, Healing by Prayer, Healing Miracles of the Christ_ _and many more

Mary Weeks Burnett travelled to London to see Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and met a Mrs. Mitchell:

Mrs. Mitchell and her sister - went to various interesting places in and about London, often with Dr. Mary Weeks Burnett, and once or twice with Madame Le Roux, a French nun, Mother-Superior of a Spanish Convent, who had been converted to Theosophy by a perusal of our literature…

Continuing on to Paris:

During the ten days that Dr. Burnett, my sister, and myself were together, we did much sight-seeing and profited by every opportunity to gain information about hypnotic science and the phase of therapeutics that was specialised by Jean Martin Charcot at La Salpétrière.


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